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Working with Your Spine Surgeon

Before spine surgery, your surgeon will give you a complete physical examination to make sure you don’t have any conditions that could interfere with the surgery or its outcome. Routine tests, such as blood tests and X-rays, are usually performed before any major surgery.

  • Be sure to discuss any medications you are taking with your spine surgeon and your family physician to see which ones you should stop taking before surgery.
  • If you are taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, warfarin, or any drugs that increase the risk of bleeding you will need to stop taking them at least one week before surgery to minimize bleeding.
  • If you smoke, you should stop or cut down to reduce your surgery risks and improve your recovery.
  • Have any tooth, gum, bladder or bowel problems treated before surgery to reduce the risk of infection later.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a daily multivitamin with iron.
  • Report any infections to your surgeon. Spinal surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
  • Arrange for someone to help out with everyday tasks like cooking, shopping and laundry.
  • Put items that you use often within easy reach before surgery so you won’t have to reach and bend as often.
  • Remove all loose carpets and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.
  • Make sure you have a stable chair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back and two arms.

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